Pixar animators Adam Burke and Andrew Gordon of the Spline Doctors blog have posted a terrific 53-minute podcast interview with Brad Bird. Bird covers a lot of his personal history (not many who can lay claim to being mentored by Milt Kahl as a teen) and offers sound advice throughout (story! story! story!). Makes for inspiring weekend listening. Here’s a few choice thoughts from Brad:
So we often hear about the comeback of 2d animation. Do you think 2D has to change in order to be successful again?
Brad Bird: Yeah, I think they have to tell good stories. I think that’s a radical change.
Can you give any advice to aspiring students and animators about staying fresh and original?
Brad Bird: Don’t just look at animation. Look at everything else. Look at your own life. Feed other things into the medium of animation. Observe plays, paintings, TV shows that you like, poems, the girl that broke your heart two years ago, the car accident you almost had. Bring it all into the medium and the medium will stay as alive as it needs to be. To animate means to give the appearance of life, and you can’t create the illusion of life if you haven’t lived one.
And when Brad talks about quality television, he cites The Wire as an example. Perfect!